Submitted by Educo Adventure School –
Cariboo wilderness off-grid glory takes on a whole new meaning, transforming the lives of young people, thanks to Educo Adventure School. In the midst of beautiful lakes, mountains, and forests, kids gain resilience and confidence, and discover inherent inner strength and peace to thrive in an increasingly complex and fast-changing world.
Students of all ages are invited to rethink their assumptions and perspectives of themselves, their peers, and the world. Rock-climbing, hiking, backpacking, team building, canoeing, and high ropes challenges are the ‘outer’ activities, and the real exploration is the inner world of their mental and emotional framework.
“There is no more exciting and rewarding a journey than the journey to know oneself, and realizing that regardless of what is happening in the outside world, there is place at our core where we can find calm, strength, and resilience,” says Ron Skene, the returning executive director at Educo.
“Our programs foster inner awareness, helping people to choose how to view situations, other people, cultures, and the self, and in this moment to moment choosing, create the lens through which they experience the world.”
“Fun and exciting wilderness adventure activities are not just an end in themselves; they are a powerful metaphor or classroom in which to explore the magnificent terrain within,” said Skene. “The adventure / challenge activities are balanced with thoughts for the day, the stress emergency kit, mindfulness reflection, journaling, in-depth group conversations, and fun innovative games, all with the focus on uncovering and expressing inner strength and true character.
“These are unique gifts that only you can bring to the world. None of this happens by chance; it requires specific inner education.”
Educo partners with school districts throughout BC and with families to enhance the social and emotional learning (SEL) that is now mandated by the Ministry of Education. “At Educo, we’ve been reinforcing and enhancing SEL work for almost 50 years, and are able to support what the school system has incorporated as part of its core curriculum.”
Educo is a non-denominational, non-religious program accredited by the BC Camping Association, a provincial accrediting organization ensuring camps provide safe and high-quality camp experiences.
Educo Adventure School started in 100 Mile House, BC in 1969 and is the mother school of the Educo International Alliance, which includes schools in Colorado, USA, South Africa, Germany, Bulgaria, and the international JUMP! Foundation. The Educo Board is a team of passionate, committed volunteers and committed people (mostly parents of Educo students) who provide organizational leadership and oversight for Educo’s activities. Their dedication comes from the life changing experiences their children and now their grandchildren have experienced through Educo.
For many students, Educo becomes a second home. “I was talking with a past student just yesterday, who has been coming to Educo for the last 13 years.” said Skene. “She came first as a student, then as staff, and she wanted to make sure I knew she couldn’t make it for the whole season, but to make sure she could be included in at least one course.
“This kind of love for Educo, the people, and what we stand for is experienced in the international Educo programs as well. We have had many students and staff from BC take part in or lead programs all over the world. It is a fabulous network of like-minded souls and deep, life-long friendships.”
Several of Educo’s past students have started similar outdoor programs, established successful businesses partnerships together, or have gone on to careers that incorporate or exemplify the Educo philosophy. It is not about just enjoying wilderness experiences together. It goes deeper than that, to a basic core human need of being seen, heard, and appreciated, and making a contribution. Many students comment that the gifts they have received from Educo are lifelong friendships, the ability to access inner peace, and a greater sense of life’s purpose.
|“Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”|
|~ A Course in Miracles|
Another of the unique programs offered at Educo is Wonders of Women—a weekend to explore the wilds of the Cariboo and the wilds within. Participants’ physical selves are awakened with hikes, high ropes course challenges, canoeing, and more. It’s an opportunity to find new perspectives of themselves, each other, and their roles in community through circle conversations, storytelling, quiet time, and solos. In between the challenges and adventures, guests are pampered with delicious meals, snacks, and treats catered to dietary requirements.
Family Camp is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend Labour Day weekend at Educo. The program brings families and friends together in a different setting with out-of-the-ordinary activities to rekindle connection and allow new bonding to emerge.
Entire families are welcome: aunts, uncles, grandparents, children, cousins, and friends. The Educo cook plans and makes meals that will satisfy the needs of everyone attending, including special dietary restrictions. Families can enjoy the fun and beauty of evenings by the campfire, adventures on the lake, and life without electronic distractions.
Adult family members are encouraged to bring out their inner child to participate with the kids, and everyone has the choice of activities like high ropes, rock-climbing, canoeing, swimming, sauna, crafts, and more. There are opportunities for excitement and fun, as well as reflective moments and deep enquiry to examine the state of your inner world.